New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

In adulthood, I have been blessed with new friendships that continue to sustain me. I can look back on each decade of my life and identify significant new friends who have continued to challenge me in my discipleship and to teach me. I see all of these people as God’s instruments. From Robert, whose comment, “I think you’ve already decided what you want, so you’re not listening for what God wants,” led me to change careers, to Joan and Velma whose rule, “You can’t take on any more commitments this year until you talk to us about them and we say it’s okay,” led me to focus my energy, God has used my close friends to guide me and lead me into fuller life and deeper discipleship. … The people we spend time with shape us; that’s why friends are so important.

—Mary Lou Redding, God Was with Me All Along: A Guide for Capturing Your Memories and Telling Your Story (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

What friends have sustained you in the past decade? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
—Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Loving God, be near me as I recall events from my life. Guide me to look at my past with forgiveness and love. Help me to accept where I am in my life journey and to recognize ways you have been present with me all along. Thank you for your unconditional love and for the strength you give me each day. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

In Fully Human, Fully Divine, Whitney R. Simpson writes, “An embodied Advent invites us to live the experience of this season fully, with our whole selves, right here and right now as we await the Christ child.” Learn more about this year’s Advent resource by visiting UpperRoom.org/fullyhuman.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Reign of Christ

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • robert moeller Posted November 19, 2022 5:51 am

    Friends here, at church, an in a railroad historical society help sustain me. I’ve had help from family.
    Altogether I think I am sustained in many different, but all important and necessary ways. Thank You, Lord.
    Snow-making, a necessity in our global warming, climate changing world is underway. Thankful that the temps are making that possible. Who knows, there may be some sort of skiing possible as forecast by the the ski areas on Thanksgiving. While great for outdoor activities, the colder weather is causing financial hardship for people in this inflationary economy. Energy prices are high. There’s no fake news in that.
    A praise service at church tomorrow as we approach Thanksgiving. Despite the hardships, we have a lot to be thankful for and you don’t have to think hard to recognize that truth. We will endure, God will see us through.
    Great news that Becky, Don, and Larry made it safely from Florida, despite some pain, Jill’s physical therapy seems to be helping, encouraging that her tennis friend also goes there.
    Prayers for Julie, Megan, and H, Ally&David, Jill, Becky, Don, Larry, Lou, April, Rick, and Scott. May your needs be met, thanks given for your joys, and blessings counted. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted November 19, 2022 8:51 am

    I have had problems making friends at this age and in this area. Most people who live in this area have done so their whole lives and have family and old friends and no need for new.
    I spent yesterday at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. In the morning I attended a class where we made Thanksgiving centerpeices. I intend to take mine to church on Thanksgiving to grace the table for the sit down meals. I ate lunch there and then attended a book club meeting which was very informative. The book was by a Native American woman and she described many of the rituals her people perform and why.

  • Ally Posted November 19, 2022 10:35 am

    I want to post an answer to yesterday’s question first. I read the entry, got busy, and never came back to answer the question. But I thought about it all day.
    There are so many wonderful memories of time with my family, it is hard to choose only one.
    Some of my favorites are Mother’s Day trips on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee. We always took a picnic and stopped at a lovely spot with a fast running creek called Glen Rock. We ate our lunch (a simple picnic of sandwiches, chips, and Oreos tastes so good outside in nature). Then we waded in the creek and fed the fish little bits of leftover bread. Memories of spending a week in summer with my aunt, weekends with my grandparents, playing with my cousins have all come flooding back. My family is God’s wonderful gift.
    The last decade has been filled with challenges and I am thankful for the friends who have been with me through tough times. My cousin Kathy has been here for me since we were babies. My friends Hope, Lynda, and Mary Nelle have been constant. My new friends Laura, Ginger, and Robin. My dear friend Maria , my friend Kent, and my friend Julie from NEM have been here for me. Praise God for friendship and love.
    We have thanksgiving dinner at church tomorrow and I’m making an apple cake. Then onto Friendsgiving on Thursday. I’m taking an appetizer and greens gumbo. Love to all.

  • Jill Posted November 19, 2022 6:11 pm

    The past decade has seen such spiritual growth, and surely it is because of the people God brought into my life, prior to that and during that time period. My dearest friend – I met in 1993. It tears me up how much she is struggling right now. I ache for her, and long to be a support to her, while also continuing to speak truth to her and point her to God. My other “best friend” entered my life, surely via God, right when I was hitting my spiritual growth spurt. She is my traveling companion, my book study buddy and a constant in my life. She speaks truth into my life, especially when I need it. God is so gracious. And my tennis friend, who introduced me to her friend with the same chronic condition as I, and invited me to her church and her small group. Again, all God’s handy work – bringing these people to into my realm, at just the right time. All four of these ladies have been with me through the good and bad. So grateful.
    Spent some time with my friend this morning, at my god son’s basketball scrimmage. It has been a rough couple of days and she is looking much worse for wear. She is struggling so and I long to be more of a help to her than it seems I am. But, I don’t know what that looks like. I just keep praying. The team looked better today and has its first game Wednesday.
    Picked up pizza and headed to see my family. We spent the afternoon doing what we do – eating and playing cards. The women beat the men pretty soundly. Becky and I ran to the store afterwards.
    I am home now with the kittens. A simple joy, these two little ones. I love how they buddy around together.

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